7 worst customs of the world that affect women’s rights!
Social traditions are a part of the cultural fabric of any and every society around the world. These social traditions are passed from generation to generation, and sometimes we see individuals blindly following these practices without question. Yes, we live in a world where women have been oppressed and mistreated for years, but the times have changed, and so has the social status of women.
Despite these upward changes these socio-cultural traditions remain. Several societies continue to uphold traditions that test women physically, mentally, and even exploit women sexually. Though these sexist traditions have been supposedly abolished forever, some continue to exist. These traditions are misogyny and abuse in their purest form.
Here are 7 of the world’s most oppressive traditions.
1. Force-feeding young girls-In Mauritania, North Africa, young girls are force-fed high-calorie diets that plump them up. This is to make them appealing enough for men or their prospective suitors. This practice is called leblouh or gavage. This practice is famous in drought-prone countries where obesity among women is celebrated. Obese women are considered prosperous. Young girls from the age of 6 onwards are sent to a fattening camp and force-fed 20 liters of milk along with 2 cups of butter and 2 kgs of millets.
2. Breast Ironing-A practice followed in Cameroon. The idea behind this tradition is that having breasts is shameful and attracts unwanted attention from men. Several African mothers beat the breasts of their young daughters with hot irons, to stop them from growing. This practice starts at the age of 10. It is done to delay a girl from having her first sexual encounter and avoid early pregnancy. The after-effects of this procedure include the formation of cysts and malformed breasts. The victims of this tradition find it very difficult to feed their children after birth.
3. Finger amputation to mourn death-The members of the Indonesian Dani Tribe are known to cut off their fingers to mourn the loss of a family member. It is only the women who are made to do this procedure. Before the procedure starts, a woman has to tie a string around her finger to numb it. After the finger is cut off women then have to burn their hands to stop the bleeding. This is to symbolise that death should be expressed physically.
4. Devadasis-This is a tradition found in South India, despite it being outlawed, children are yet made to do this. A devadasi is someone who is made to devote her life to god. She is barred from marrying another human being. Previously, devadasi were women who were celibate temple dancers who had a high status in society. But now the practice is turned into a form of prostitution. The girls generally belong to the lower castes of society. When they reach puberty, their virginity is auctioned off to the highest bidder.
5. Menstruation women are moved to the cattle shed-This is a tradition followed in Nepal, where women who are on their periods are not allowed in their own homes. They are sent to the cattle shed and are made to sleep with the cows and buffaloes. This practice is named Chhaupadi, even though it is deemed illegal, many families continue to follow this tradition. Women in their periods are considered impure during their cycles. Whoever touches them has to go through a purifying ritual themselves. Some don’t have the means to send the women to a cowshed, Menstruating women are banished to the corner of the house and asked not to leave from that very spot.
6. Neck rings-The women of Myanmar and Thailand have to suffer a lifetime of pain, due to unrealistic beauty standards. It is believed that women who have long slender necks are said to be beautiful and graceful. Therefore girls as early as the age of five start wearing brass collars around their necks, as they grow older the number of coils increase. By the time they reach old age, women wear around 20–25 rings. This elongates the neck, but the coil pushes the collarbone and ribs down, only creating an illusion of a long neck. Women are only allowed to remove the rings once in their lives, that is on their wedding night.
7. Female genital mutilation-This practice is prevalent in many cultures around the world. It is most often carried out at a very young age, buy a traditional circumciser. Why people and societies continue with this practice differs from society to society; the main reason is to ensure that premarital sex does not occur and that female modesty remains intact. Many young girls have died due to this practice due to pain, or infection.
These are only some of the traditions that are regressive but still present in societies around the world. These practices demean women from a young age and continue to hold them back. The women of today deserve better than these traditions. They deserve to progress. And for progress to take place, these traditions need to be stopped.
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If you would like to read more about harmful traditions click here.
Read our blog on the most common mental health issues women face here.
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Originally published at https://www.fuzia.com.